Designer Sigga Heimis works on industrial and product design in Sweden and Iceland. She was an in-house designer for IKEA and worked as design manager at Fritz Hansen in Denmark before opening her studio in 2010. Sigga has participated in the GlassLab design program with the Museum since 2007.
This week, she’s in the hot shop with Museum glassmakers working on a series of glass organs for an upcoming exhibit of her GlassLab design work at the DesignGalleriet in Stockholm, Sweden. Sigga recently gave a talk at TEDx Reykjavik on her collaboration with the Museum and on the ideas of design and social responsibility. I caught up with her to see what’s next for the glass organ series, which draws attention to organ donation.
What are you working on today?
Today we’re making eyes. We’ve made one already and next we’ll do a brain. We’re going to make a special edition brain only for the DesignGalleriet exhibition which represents the right and left sides of the brain. The right part is the creative, that’s where all the ideas come from, that’s where the imaginative part is. And the left side is the practical and stable—the part that organizes. We’re going to make a brain that has these two different halves. We haven’t decided how yet, but one part is going to be a little bit gray and the other one is going to be more colorful.
Why come to Corning to make the glass?
Glasshouses are limited and it’s not that easy for designers to work with glass. But apart from that, this place is my favorite playground. It’s so amazing. The team I’m working with – they’re masters. They’re fantastic. Corning is the whole picture. You get to know glass in every single way. From very technological complicated glass to the history of glass and it’s the best place you can be if you’re going to do glass.
You’re here working with the Museum’s GlassLab design program.
We’ve been collaborating since 2007 and it was kind of a coincidence. The Museum was testing out working with designers and a group of us were asked to come up with some ideas. I came up with the idea of the organs and we’ve been doing it ever since.
Today, there are not really any boundaries anymore between design and art. And I love the fact that Corning is taking the approach of combining design and art and getting people to work together rather than trying to isolate. They’re doing a really good example of it and I wish more museums would do it.
Your TEDxReykjavík talk was about using design for social responsibility. Tell me more about how that relates to the glass organs.
Organ donation in itself is not really a sexy subject, it’s a heavy subject! But to use something like glass, where the material is so fascinating, and you can actually use that to get someone’s attention to a heavier subject—that I think is fantastic.
Learn more about Sigga Heimis http://www.cmog.org/glasslab/designers/sigga-heimis